RCN comments on joint report predicting a shortfall of 250,000 NHS staff by 2030
Dame Donna Kinnair, Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:
“The NHS cannot function on a skeleton staff – the number of missing professionals must not be allowed to soar to this level. The Government cannot ignore this warning from leading independent experts. Long before we get to 2030, patient care is already being affected by the shortage of nurses – people waiting ever-longer for life-changing surgery or for a bed to become free.
“If next month’s NHS ten-year plan is to be genuinely forward-looking and more than a wish list, the nursing shortage must be addressed. Funding nurse higher education is key to this - the Government and NHS England must invest at least £1 billion in nursing higher education to attract and support the nurses we need to keep patients safe. The Government’s earlier plan to increase nursing applications by scrapping the bursary has categorically failed - 1,800 fewer people have been accepted onto courses.
“In this report, experts from three leading health organisations echo our call for a properly-funded workforce plan that responds to population need and is underpinned by legislation that holds decision-makers to account for safe and effective staffing levels. This must be drawn up urgently.”
The report can be found on The King's Fund website.